I’m thinking about disbanding this blog. I haven’t posted lately, due, mostly to being unusually busy, both at work and at home. However, I’ve recently been thinking about what exactly the purpose of this blog is, and whether I’m meeting that purpose.
I mean, I think I’ve generated a little conversation, I think I’ve caused a few people to laugh a little, I think I’ve done some pretty decent writing. But I don’t know if I’ve reached the expectations I’ve had for myself. And being that those expectations weren’t defined, it’s hard to really say.
It’s also difficult to write about the same things over and over. After all, what’s been in the news? The stimulus, the automakers, Blago and Burris. In a way, I can understand how paid, circulated columnists can keep hitting upon these topics—not only are they paid, but I’m sure they get lots of reader feedback. (No, this isn’t a solicitation of more readers and/or comments). Because when you are encouraged to keep hammering away at injustices and hypocrisies, and it looks like people are paying attention and you’re what you’re saying is getting noticed, it’s easier to keep plugging away, even the topics are becoming quite distasteful.
For instance, I couldn’t write any more about Blago, even though he was in the midst of a ridiculous (in the truest sense of the word—“arousing or deserving ridicule: absurd, preposterous; syn see laughable” as defined by Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) media blitz. I couldn’t stand to delve into the waters of Roland Burris. And I can’t stomach writing any more about how a certain segment of Washington said it was eager to work with the new administration, yet consistently toes the Limbaugh line, which is to say that it is hoped the new president fails.
I guess, mostly, I was a little pie-in-the-sky naïve in hoping that I would have a little impact with my words. Not many people read them, and even if a lot more did, really, what good would it do besides feed my own ego? Impact is important to me. It’s what makes good writing good writing, in my opinion: there is not just a subject for the piece, but an object as well.
Speaking of ego, one last thing has been a little disillusioning for me. I read a lot of current events materials—newspapers, columns, op/eds, blogs, almost all of it online, but still a pretty good sampling of what’s being said out there, from both sides of political issues, quite often. I read the Chicago papers online, our local paper, the Pantagraph, CNN.com commentators, Yahoo.com bloggers, and whatever else I can get my eyeballs on. And what I’ve found is that, with very few exceptions, my writing is every bit as good, if not better, than a lot of the professional stuff I read. The only person whom I read that consistently makes me go, “Damn, I wish I could write like that,” is, oddly enough, a sports columnist: Bill Simmons (“The Sports Guy”) on ESPN.com. Just to name a couple examples, I’ve read commentaries on the auto industry and the stimulus on CNN.com and observances by the so-called new media writers at the Tribune. And you know what? I feel my work is right up there—and so are the comments that have been left on some of my entries. What we’ve said in our little group has been as observant and intuitive as what’s in the national/international media.
So what am I to do? Keep plugging away for my own entertainment, and for the entertainment of the very limited number of people who read me, and hope that it accidentally catches fire somehow? Or do I say, well, I’ve fulfilled one of my goals, which was to do some good writing and generate some portfolio material, in the event I ever want to try my hand at becoming a writer full time?
I don’t know.